Do you have one of those marriages or relationships in which your significant other leaves you sweet notes tucked under your pillow? Does your spouse write you soppy cards for no reason except to tell you how incredible you are? Pah! Humph! Be gone with you! Or stay, but just don't tell me the sordid romantic details.
My husband is a gorgeous bloke, who does the dishes every night, plays games with our children for hours, and encourages me in all I do. He is just not terribly spontaneous. Flowers are a rarity. Love notes are almost unheard of. Cards are given, but only on birthdays. He shows his love in more practical ways.
So I should really know better than this, but when Fatty was late coming home from playing sport yesterday afternoon, I began to toy idly with the pleasant idea that perhaps he had stopped off to buy me flowers. It was a lovely daydream.
Six o'clock came, and I realised there would be no flowers. The shops were long closed. I began to imagine sports-related injuries, because that's the kind of freaky worrier I am. To be fair to me, I do often think in worst case scenarios, but I also began to fret because Fatty once rang me, en route from squash court to hospital, to say he had busted his Achilles tendon. So that got fixed but, you know, he hasn't done the other side yet.
So while I grated zucchini into the bolognaise sauce (hiding vegetables from children is my special talent), I wondered where my husband had gotten to. I started to clear the kitchen table for dinner, and there it was.... a note! A note for me! I hadn't noticed it because it was written on an envelope the kids had decorated in felt pen swirls.
The note read:
Have gone to find a Baillon's crake
I was swept away by the utter devotion and desperate romanticism of his words. If you read between the lines, it is quite clear that Fatty meant, "Jelly, my love for you is so expansive and vast that I feel I could soar on its breezes like a Baillon's crake". Don't you think?